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In Memoriam: David Thornton

Updated: Jun 8

FEBRUARY 4, 2021 BY CHRIST CHURCH MEXICO


From David Thornton’s widow, Armida, and son, Alex


Sometime in the early 1960s, youthful Yorkshireman David Thornton bade farewell to Huddersfield and set off across the ocean in search of adventure. After charming his way across the USA, he found himself in Mexico City, which remained his home for the rest of his life.

After initial jobs teaching French and Latin to the children of Greengates School, David found work teaching English for adults at the Anglo Institute. Among his students there was Guadalupe Torres Landa, who instantly got thrown in at the deep end of arcane English linguistic constructions (who could resist “unsupported statements are anathema to examiners”?) and went on to become his wife.

In 1980 they had a son, Alex,to whom David was a devoted and caring father. Weekends were spent exploring Zacango Zoo, roaming the hills with homemade bows and arrows, and escaping to the beautiful adobe house Guadalupe built near Valle de Bravo, where the family picked fruit from the orchard and fired rockets into the heavens.

The adventures continued as Alex grew up and became a field biologist, with David joining him for encounters with meerkats and lions and perilous white-water exploits in a small raft above the roaring chasm of Augrabies Falls in the parched moonscape of the Kalahari Desert.


Years later, David’s grandchildren, Nico and Eddie, appeared on the scene and trips back to England to see them were filled with play and laughter.

David and Guadalupe eventually went their separate ways, but they remained close friends despite their differences and always found room for laughter.

David had an incredible knack for finding enjoyment in all he did and refusing to take life too seriously. He woul


d jokingly refer to himself as a “boring banker,” but managed to ensure that his 34-year banking career at Banamex, Midland Bank, and later HSBC afforded ample opportunities for travel and fun. Meetings and trade delegations could always be livened up with a trip to a snake-venom farm in Brazil or a swim with sea turtles as a reward for a hard day’s work in the Cayman Islands.

His warmth, humour, and charm endeared him to everyone he met, and in 2003, his path collided with tha


t of Armida Sánchez Arellano. They married in Florence in 2008, and their life together was a rolling panoply of profound love, fun, constant laughter, good food, and travel.

After his retirement, David spent his time reading books, and newspapers; helping Armida in anything she needed, as well as supporting charities. He would eagerly accompany Armida on her business trips for Microsoft, which,in his role as “Chief Baggage Officer” allowed him to sample the sights and culinary delights of Seattle, Vancouver, and many cities in Latin America. They also loved traveling to York in northern England to enjoy the delights of that beautiful city.

David died on the 31st of January 2021. His departure leaves an aching hole in our hearts. He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, and his presence could not help but warm a room. The sparks in his eyes may have faded away, but his memory lives on.”


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